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Versace may get new investor for Christmas, IPO to happen in future

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November 28
1:10 PM 2013

Versace company president and former chief executive officer Santo Versace said on Thursday that a new investor will most likely be acquiring a stake in the Italian fashion house by Christmas.

"It is likely by Christmas but if it turns out to be Jan. 15 nothing changes. A first step has been taken, now the others must follow," Versace said. Versace is also a shareholder of the Italian company.

Versace has plans to sell a 20% ownership stake in the company, which had already attracted multiple bids from firms. Some of the bids Versace received were from Blackstone Group, Permira Advisers Holdings Ltd, private equity fund Clessidra, Italian fund FSI, Qatar Holding LL and French buyout firm Ardian, which was earlier known as AXA. Versace has tapped the services of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Banca IMI as its financial advisers and overseers of the bids, said a source cited by the Walll Street Journal.

Versace is seen to be controlling the entry of third parties into the company fold in the stake sale process, as part of the stake sale requires the potential buyer to agree that the Versace family will have creative control of the brand and carry on with the Italian fashion house's strategic plan in progress.

On the other hand, Versace said a potential stock exchange listing might be an option for the company in the near future.

"At present the best thing is to boost growth at a company which is valued above one billion euros currently and could be worth three times that in three years' time."

Versace is known under trade name Gianni Versace SpA. The fashion house was named after its founder who had established the company in 1978, and was a known fashion designer. As one of the leading international fashion houses in the world, the company designs, markets and distributes high-end, luxury apparel, makeup and home furnishings under the Versace Group brand.

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